Jacob Smith needs just 39 pitches in no-hitter for Middle Park baseball

Jacob Smith. (Courtesy of Middle Park HS)

Jacob Smith was incredibly efficient as he threw a no-hitter for Middle Park baseball on Tuesday.

The sophomore needed just 39 pitches to accomplish the feat in his team's 26-0 win over Bruce Randolph.

"29 strikes and 10 balls," said Middle Park coach Jon T. Hall. "He was just throwing it right down the pipe, and they weren't swinging at the first pitch a lot of times. 12 of the 29 were first-pitch strikes."

Smith faced the minimum of 15 batters over five innings, allowing a lone base runner on a walk. (Smith picked that runner off the very next pitch.) He had seven strikeouts.

"It was a feat beyond feats, man," Hall said. "It was like he was unconscious up there. It was something else."

Hall, now in his fourth season at Middle Park, has been a baseball coach for 13 years. He said he's never had a player do anything like Tuesday's performance.

"I've never even seen anything like this, even in all the years I played college ball, or when I was 3, 4 years old growing up," Hall said.

The Panthers' offense held up its end of the bargain, too: Middle Park led 7-0 after the first inning, and also pushed across nine runs in the third. Gabe Loberg, Sam Colley and Turner Bjerken each had three RBIs, with Bjerken going deep.

Smith is now 2-0 this season with a 1.40 ERA in eight appearances. He also has a save.

"The young man's been throwing well all year," Hall said.

The Panthers moved to 8-6 with the win, including 7-2 in the Class 3A/2A Frontier League, and have five games left on their schedule — to play in six days.

"Living up here in the mountains, we've had snowouts and snowouts and snowouts and snowouts. Every one of them has been snow; it's not been rain," Hall said. "It's definitely a tough place to play home ball games up here in the mountains."

The good news? Smith will be available to pitch again. Because he only threw 39 pitches, he only needed one day of rest under the pitch count rule — which he'll get on Wednesday before the Panthers play again Thursday.

"He's free to pitch whenever I need him again," Hall said.